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Firo Pizza breaks ground for new location

Firo Fire Kissed Pizza and Italian Gelato, a fast-casual restaurant, has begun construction on their new location on Maplewood. The restaurant is slated to open in mid-January. Construction began in October.

Firo is a build your own pizza and salad restaurant that prepares fresh products daily. They also offer fresh gelato that is made with the same recipes and ingredients found in Italy.

As customers advance through the line, they select freshly prepared meats, cheeses and vegetables. The pizza is then placed in an open-flame stone hearth oven where it cooks in less than five minutes.

To learn more about Firo Fire Kissed Pizza click here.

New VA Clinic for Wichita Falls

Oklahoma medical center VA is moving forward with plans to open a new VA clinic in Wichita Falls and they’re now talking about the location.

2600 central freeway is the new home and it is expected to open this summer. Officials said the extra space will help them see more patients and provide services not offered for veterans in Wichita Falls like hearing tests and eye exams.

“Now we don’t have [any] eye exams. Diabetes: we have to a point,” Ambrosio Barboza, disabled Navy veteran, said. “No hearing aids.”

Wade Vlosich, Oklahoma City Medical Center Director, said this clinic will now have the space to offer additional services but some veterans say they heard it all before.

“New people, same smoke,” said Barboza.

Vlosich announced the new clinic this summer at a veterans town hall meeting in Wichita Falls and since then it has been a numbers game.

“We have been working with our contracting officer and the contractor to negotiate the prices for the subcontractors that will be coming out to renovating the clinic so those prices have now been finalized and now we are waiting to get all the pricing over to the contractor,” said Vlosich.

The project is moving forward on schedule and as planned for the growing veteran community.

“Right now, we are actually looking at hiring an additional nurse practitioner or pay to help with the clinic workload volume continues to increase,” said Vlosich. “Over this last month alone we have seen over 105 new patients and first-time users to the Wichita Falls clinic.”

Watch the full story at Newschannel 6 Now.

Incentivizing the recruitment of a skilled workforce

City councilors approved spending 4A sales tax funds for up to $200,000 for an incentive program to help attract skilled workers to the Wichita Falls workforce.

This funding will help local employers to attract the workforce they need.
After a successful test run with the Sharp Iron Group, the 4A board suggested an expansion of the Employee Recruitment and Relocation Incentive Program. Monitored by the Chamber of Commerce, the program allows some companies to provide incentives to potential employees when hiring outside of Wichita Falls, such as housing and relocation costs.

Read or watch the full story at TexomasHomePage.com

Wichita Falls Chamber new location announcement

The Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce has signed the lease on new, highly-visible location on the first floor of the Hamilton Building in the former Benchmark office at the corner of 8th & Lamar.

Chamber CEO Henry Florsheim made the announcement at a special event on Friday, November 8th in the new space at 900 8th Street, Suite 100.  This location will provide more office space, a larger boardroom, and a more welcoming lobby and entrance.  Renovations will begin soon and Florsheim expects the move will take place during the first quarter of 2020.

The Chamber first moved to the Hamilton Building in 1962, but was hidden on the second floor with no visibility.  Over the past few years, it became evident to the Board and CEO that a more visible location in a high traffic area would better benefit the efforts of the Chamber, provide easier access to business community, and be more welcoming to visitors.

“During my very first interview for this job back in the middle of 2013, I expressed a concern about the lack of visibility of the Chamber.   Since moving here I’ve found that many Wichitans who have been here their entire life have no idea where the Chamber is located.   That needs to change, and now we can make it change,” said Florsheim.

Hotel Occupancy Tax approved by citizens

The Hotel Occupancy Tax will raise the tax rate by 2% for hotel and motel visitors in Wichita Falls. This new tax rate will the community accumulate the revenue needed to make some much-needed repairs to our event facilities.

“It provides us a funding mechanism without having to burden our citizens. You can’t have a facility operational that has so many roof issues,” Communications and Marketing Director Lindsay Barker stated.

Full story at KAUZ Newschannel 6

Panera Bread in Wichita Falls

Claire Kowalick, Wichita Falls Times Record News

The company has found a location and already begun to post job openings for their Wichita Falls location. We are still eagerly awaiting details on what their timeline looks like. Read the full story here.

Founder Ron Schaich partnered early on with the late Louis Kane, owner of French bakery chain Au Bon Pain.

In 1993, Au Bon Pain acquired the St. Louis Bread Company.

The popularity of quality bakery goods and sandwiches showed Schaich there was a real desire for customers to not only have a meal at a good price, but enjoy their restaurant experience and feel good about the choices they make.

He revamped the concept of the St. Louis Bread Company and came up with the name Panera, combining the Italian words for bread (pan) and time (era).

Au Bon Pain divisions were sold in 1999, so the company could concentrate on growing Panera.

Pamlico Air coming to Wichita Falls

Pamlico Air, a manufacturing company, will be occupying the Stanley building, 2801 Production Blvd. in Wichita Falls.

“We made a proposal to them with some funding for training, some funding to help them get established here based on the number of jobs that they’re gonna create which is 200 initially and then a couple of other pieces like property tax abatement,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said.

The company plans to hire a total of 200 employees within their first year.

Read more at Texoma’s Home Page

See their facebook page.

MSU welcomed second-largest freshman class

Claire Kowalick | Times Record News

Rigorous efforts by MSU Texas staff and faculty to boost enrollment and retention at the university appear to be paying off.

At the MSU Board of Regents meeting Thursday, Fred Dietz, vice president for enrollment management, said the rate of retention of students went up three percent.

“This is thanks to an effort that the whole campus took on,” he said.

Several programs and initiatives have gone into action in the past few years to attract college students to the campus and support these students through completion of their degrees.

Another promising note is the university had its second-largest incoming freshman class this fall semester.

Read the full story at Times Record News.

Wichita Falls to host 2020 National Art Battle Championship

Art Battle organizers announced that the 2020 Art Battle U.S. National Championships will be held in Wichita Falls in April.

Art Battle is a timed, live-painting competition in which small groups of artists create paintings which are voted on by the audience per round and winning artists advance to compete at the regional, national and international level.

“The Wichita Falls Art Association and the people of Wichita Falls are thrilled to welcome the Art Battle National Finalists to our community for a celebration of talent like no other,” said Bob Barrow, event organizer.

Read the complete story from the Times Record News

First Caribbean restaurant offers bold flavors in Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls is now home to a new Caribbean restaurant. Wichita Falls residents can now experience the taste of the islands without booking a flight thanks to the new Fazmoz Caribbean Cuisine.

Wichita Falls residents can now experience the taste of the islands without booking a flight thanks to the new Fazmoz Caribbean Cuisine.

The name, Fazmoz, comes from merging the owner’s and her husband’s nicknames.

“I was driving around wanting something different and realized this place is open,” Wichita Falls resident Kari Bickhard said.

Restaurant owner Fatisha Evans, who is originally from St. Kitts, promises an explosion of flavor in every bite, flavors that may be new to most local diners.

“What Fazmoz serves is really good heartfelt food,” Evans said. “When you come here it’s just filled with one love, different ethnicities, different cultures, different races, we come here to eat and we have fun.”

See the full story at Texomashomepage.com

See more about the restaurant.